How he beats you: As a rookie out of Georgia last season, A.J. Green recorded 65 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 16.3 yards per catch. Green also became the first rookie receiver since Anquan Boldin in 2003 to make the Pro Bowl. Green has great size at 6-foot-4, 207 pounds, as well as the speed, strength and athleticism to make him a big-play, downfield threat.
“He has great ball skills, he has a quarterback that trusts him, wants to get the ball to him,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “They’ll throw it up, take a couple chances and he’s able to come down with those plays. As a rookie, I saw him from a distance, loved his game. … Great ball skills. He just plucks it out of the air. One of the best I’ve seen at plucking the ball out the air in a long time.”
How to stop him: Although he has great size, Green is still working on his physicality. The Redskins’ defensive backs will likely use a number of different strategies on him, but bumping him at the line to keep him from creating downfield separation will be one of them. The Redskins also must be disciplined in their coverages. Last week they let Danny Amendola torch them for 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. In that game, the Redskins’ defensive backs played mostly zone coverages before switching to man coverage later in the game, where they experienced a little more success. They can’t afford to let Green get going in a similar fashion.
Asked what the Redskins will do to try to slow Green and his fellow receivers, Hall said, “We just have to go out and execute our game plan finally. I feel like what we have is good. A lot of mixing it up with those guys. We’re going to be up in their faces. We’ve definitely got a chance to go up there and make some plays against those guys. The last two weeks, we haven’t really faced a team that really threw it downfield and let us try to make plays downfield. It was a lot of dink and dunk passing routes. So, going against this offense, this Jay Gruden offense, he’s going to give us some chances to make some plays downfield, because we know he’s going to go downfield to try to set up plays for his guys.”